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Framed Vs. Frameless Shower Doors

Framed Vs. Frameless Shower Doors: How to Choose the Suitable One

When discussing framed vs. frameless shower doors, a lot of people have been found choosing the latter. This article gives a detailed comparison between the two types and will help you to make an informed choice.
Puja Lalwani
Last Updated: Sep 25, 2017
For a lot of us, a good looking and well functioning bathroom is the epitome of luxury. It is the one place apart from the bedroom, where people unwind and relax. Though a shower enclosure does not offer the same luxury as soaking in a bathtub, it still fulfills its purpose beautifully. Further, when you are in a beautiful enclosure, the process of showering itself becomes an unwinding and relaxing process. While there are tiles and other decorative fixtures to add to the beauty of the enclosures, one way in which you can give this place a sleeker look, is by means of frameless shower doors. However, some of you may still prefer the traditional framed version.
Choosing Criteria
Why is everyone talking about frameless doors, and choosing this option over a framed one? Not only aesthetic appeal in terms of bathroom design, the former has a lot more to offer in terms of use and maintenance. Let's take a look at the properties of both, along with the advantages that either have to offer.
  • A shower door that is framed requires the use of glass that is 1/8 inch or 3/16 inch thick. The metal frame gives this glass adequate protection against breakage and chipping. On the other hand, a frameless door is thicker, at least about 1/4 or 3/8 inch thick, because it does not have a metal frame to protect it. It is tempered so as to protect it from the breakage and chipping that glass is often prone to.
  • In spite of being frameless, the door will require the use of some metal such as brackets and holders to keep it steady. However, the use of metal is minimal with a frameless one. Further, you can also invest in frameless sliding doors that are extremely smooth to use, do not get stuck, and have a sleek metallic channel above and below for sliding. For this, using glass that is 3/8 inch thick is a better option as it prevents any shaking and rattling of the glass.
  • One might not classify this exactly as a disadvantage, but it is bound to be heavier, because the glass is thicker and tempered. However, it is still not difficult to use in any manner.
  • Frames are likely to rust over time, and leave behind its effects on the glass. A frameless door on the other hand offers no such issues, and in fact, cleaning them is much easier, as you don't miss out on any corners or edges.
  • While the cost of frameless doors is almost 50% - 60% greater, it is definitely longer-lasting. As such, though the initial investment is high, in the long run it is a good one.
  • No matter which design you choose, this door gives your bathroom the feeling of a large, open space in spite of enclosing an area. It also immensely adds to the value of your property. Simply put, any house that is well designed, including the bathrooms with its walk-in showers and frameless doors, is likely to sell at a higher price than one that is not.
Ultimately, what looks good to you, and what is important for you in terms of appearance, function, and maintenance is what matters.